Bayern Munich will do "everything" to keep Robert Lewandowski for "as long as possible", but Niklas Sule is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Lewandowski's contract expires at the end of 2022-23 and there have been suggestions Bayern could look to move the Poland star on this year to free up room for Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland.

That is despite the 33-year-old having just won The Best FIFA Men's Player Award for the second year running, his 34 goals in all competitions this season at least 10 more than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn suggested on Wednesday that the Bundesliga champions have no plans to let Lewandowski leave.

"He is an absolute phenomenon," Kahn told reporters. "Not just for the goals he constantly scores but for the level at which he has been playing for years.

"Of course, we will try to keep Robert with us. He's a kind of insurance for us, with his way of playing football. We will do everything we can to have Robert with us for as long as possible."

 

Sule, however, appears destined to leave the Allianz Arena after rejecting Bayern's offer of a new contract.

The centre-back, 26, has missed just two games in the Bundesliga this season and is reportedly of interest to Chelsea and Newcastle United, who could offer greater salaries.

"Negotiations with Niklas have dragged on for a very long time," Kahn said.

"We made him an offer, but he didn't accept it, as he told us. I think [club president] Herbert Hainer wanted to leave the back door a little ajar.

"Now we know what the situation is. This has happened over the past few days. I think you have to take into account that there are a lot of conversations going on. At some point, a player makes his decision.

"I think it was a very good offer. We have economic limits within which we must move. He's one of the best central defenders out there right now. I think we showed him that appreciation.

"Ultimately, it's the player's decision."

When asked if Bayern would look to sign a replacement, Kahn added: "We always look at all the options. We have a lot of options when it comes to the centre-back position.

"We have Lucas Hernandez in central defence, an excellent centre-back in [Dayot] Upamecano, young talent in Tanguy Nianzou. [Benjamin] Pavard can also play there."

 

Julian Nagelsmann insists he is not getting carried away after receiving public praise from Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn regarding his positive start as the club's coach.

Nagelsmann took over from Hansi Flick in pre-season and has presided over nine wins from 10 matches across all competitions, with Borussia Monchengladbach the only team to avoid defeat to this new Bayern when they drew on matchday one of the 2021-22 Bundesliga campaign.

Bayern have amassed 16 points in their first six league games, their biggest total at this stage of a season since 2016-17 (also 16 points), while only Ottmar Hitzfeld (1998) and Otto Rehhagel (1995, both 18 points) have ever accumulated more from their first six Bundesliga matches with Die Roten.

On top of that, the champions have scored 23 times, more than any other Bayern coach in their first six league games in charge and a total bettered once (24, last season) in the club's history.

Kahn's praise came after Bayern battered Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in the Champions League, the former goalkeeper applauding Nagelsmann for making strides in his quest to make the team better defensively without impacting them negatively going forward.

"It's always nice to hear positive things, even better when it's internal," he told a news conference ahead of Sunday's Bundesliga clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.

"You have to classify things in order to understand them. I've taken on an outstanding team that does a lot of things right on its own.

 

"The influence of a coach is always smaller at such a large club. You try to bring in your own things, but we haven't turned everything around.

"I am neither surprised nor disappointed. Progress and a 'mark' should be visible quickly."

Marcel Sabitzer followed Nagelsmann to Bayern from RB Leipzig, though his impact in Bavaria has been significantly less spectacular, with the Austrian playing just 107 minutes across all competitions.

But Nagelsmann is calm about the situation, adamant Sabitzer had no expectations of walking straight into a regular role.

"He hardly trained in preparation because he had problems in the adductor area. First he has to find his way around. This is completely normal," Nagelsmann said.

"He will get his working times, right from the start [of matches]. We have a very stable construction. He's an excellent player, but he didn't come here with the expectation to play every game from the start."

Frankfurt are yet to win a league game under new boss Oliver Glasner, while they have suffered more top-flight defeats to and conceded more goals against Bayern than any other team, though Nagelsmann believes history counts for nothing.

"Basically, I am not interested, I read it briefly," he said. "You can never buy anything from the past. It's about expanding the statistics tomorrow and not thinking too much about the past."

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn lauded Julian Nagelsmann's fast start to life at the German giants following their 5-0 Champions League rout of Dynamo Kiev.

Robert Lewandowski scored twice while Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were also on target in Wednesday's crushing Group E victory.

Nagelsmann has now won nine of his first 10 games in all competitions since replacing Hansi Flick – the best start by a Bayern coach.

Bayern have kept five clean sheets across all competitions this season to top the Bundesliga and Group E, and former goalkeeper Kahn hailed their stability under highly rated boss Nagelsmann.

"I think it has happened very, very quickly and we can already see his handwriting," Kahn said of former RB Leipzig coach Nagelsmann.

"We conceded too many goals in the past two years. We weren't optimal defensively.

"Now we can keep clean sheets again, which is the basis for success.

"We already saw that against Barcelona. We could see his [Nagelsmann] handwriting, the quality that he has.

"He knows how to teach our players a few changes relatively quickly."

Bayern enjoyed their biggest home Champions League win since February 2018, when they humbled Turkish giants Besiktas 5-0 in the last 16.

Since losing 3-2 to Manchester City in December 2013, Bayern have only dropped two of a possible 66 points available at home in the Champions League group stages, winning 21 of their 22 matches (D1).

On Bayern's latest clean sheet, star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told reporters: "I like that very much as a goalkeeper or as a defensive player, just like our defenders.

"I think it's also important for us as a team to be stable defensively. That's what we've been working on. And I think it's very important for all of us that we have a lot of games with a clean sheet.

"Then, of course, we gain confidence in our defending we and can show our opponents that we can defend really well."

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is eager to keep Leon Goretzka despite links to Manchester United, declaring him to be "one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe".

Goretzka has just under a year left on his contract with the Bundesliga champions, fuelling speculation over his future.

United are reported to have lined up Goretzka as another potential new recruit, having already agreed a deal to sign Borussia Dortmund's England winger Jadon Sancho.

Goretzka scored five goals and provided the same number of assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last season, while he also found the back of the net twice and laid on two Champions League goals in the 2020-21 campaign.

Speaking at his first Bayern press conference on Wednesday, Nagelsmann said: "Leon is a very important player. I would also be very happy to work with him for many years.

"He is one of the most dangerous midfielders in Europe. So, of course, we want to keep him."

Nagelsmann also gave his backing to winger Leroy Sane, who failed to hit the heights expected of him in his first season with the club following a big-money move from Manchester City.

"We would do well to leave Leroy alone a little in the media," said the former RB Leipzig boss. "He has outstanding qualities, has a lot of speed, is one of the best one-on-one players.

"We need that. I am I'm sure we'll see an improved Leroy. But of course the player has to take that step himself."

 

Nagelsmann was given a five-year contract to replace Hansi Flick and the 33-year-old, who had a win percentage of 56.84 from 95 games with RB Leipzig, knows he will be under pressure to deliver.

"It's a show of praise in advance of my work, which I want to justify," he said of his long-term deal.

"It gives someone a very good feeling to get this level of trust. It also shows, however, that you have to deliver. I know this and I want to do just that."

New Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn believes Nagelsmann will show why the club has put so much faith in him.

"Continuity in the coaching position is very important for success. We think that we can shape an era with Julian," said the ex-Germany goalkeeper.

"He identifies with the club. That is why we are convinced of the decision."

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will retire as Bayern Munich chief executive and Oliver Kahn will replace him on July 1.

Bayern and Germany legend Rummenigge spent 10 years with the Bundesliga champions as a player and was appointed as a vice president of the Bavarian giants back in 1991.

Rummenigge took over as chairman in 2002 and oversaw a hugely successful spell in the history of one of the biggest clubs in the world.

The 65-year-old was contracted until the end of the year, but has decided to step down and former Bayern goalkeeper Kahn will be his successor.

Rummenigge told the club's official website: "It is the strategically most sensible and logical point in time. It's the end of the financial year, and a new section begins with a new team of coaches. 

"Oliver Kahn as the new CEO should be responsible for the new season right from the start – also in the interests of the people involved and thus in the interests of the future of FC Bayern. 

"I said two years ago that we were planning a prudent transition, and that is now finally being made. That's how it should be."

Bayern president and supervisory board chairman Herbert Hainer paid tribute to the long-serving Rummenigge.

He said: "I would like to thank Karl-Heinz Rummenigge from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the association and the supervisory board.

"Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had a major impact on FC Bayern, already as a striker, but above all after the end of his active career, initially as vice president and from 2002 as chairman of the Board. 

"Together with Uli Hoeness, he made FC Bayern one of the best addresses in top international football - both athletically and economically. It was a pleasure and honour for me and all of us to have worked with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. 

"As soon as the Corona situation allows, we will officially say goodbye to him at FC Bayern. The name Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will always be closely associated with FC Bayern."

Hainer is in no doubt Kahn is the right man to replace Rummenigge.

He said: "Oliver Kahn will take over responsibility at the head of FC Bayern München AG as early as July 1st. 

"After his extremely successful professional career and his time as an entrepreneur, he has now been intensively involved in the board of directors of FC Bayern München AG for a year and a half. 

"He was already involved in the decisive decisions for the future of FC Bayern and set the course for the next few years with the FC Bayern AHEAD strategy project. We are all convinced that Oliver Kahn is the right man to successfully shape the future of FC Bayern Munchen AG. "

Julian Nagelsmann can keep the trophies coming for Bayern Munich, with Oliver Kahn forecasting a "very successful" future under the leadership of the incoming coach.

The 33-year-old Nagelsmann will leave RB Leipzig at the end of the season after agreeing a five-year contract with Bayern.

A world-record fee for a coach was reportedly agreed to secure the man who will take over from Hansi Flick, with Bayern expected to hand over at least €20million.

They may recoup some of that if Flick, who asked to be released from his contract, is appointed head coach of Germany.

By hiring such a young coach, Bayern are making a major statement about their intentions, seeing Nagelsmann as a long-term prospect.

Kahn, who will step up from his role on the board to become Bayern CEO at the end of the year, said: "Julian's contract length of five years alone shows how committed he is to FC Bayern.

"I am convinced that FC Bayern's sporting future will be a very successful one with Julian Nagelsmann."

Goalkeeping great Kahn believes the team are in safe hands with the incoming boss, but he also praised Flick for his contribution.

Since taking over from the sacked Niko Kovac in November 2019, Flick has steered Bayern to six trophies, including a treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League last season.

A seventh trophy of Flick's brief reign should arrive in May, with Bayern on the brink of a ninth successive Bundesliga title.

"My thanks go to Hansi Flick," Kahn said. "He's led FC Bayern to great successes with great football. We have now fulfilled his wish to leave FC Bayern before the end of his contract. All the best, Hansi!"

Reports suggested Flick and Hasan Salihamidzic have been at odds over team matters, including player recruitment.

With Flick no longer needing to concern himself with such matters, they may be able to part on peaceful terms.

"I want to express my thanks to Hansi Flick," said Salihamidzic.

"After taking on the role of head coach nearly one and a half years ago, we have celebrated many victories and titles, with the treble in 2020 being the high point. His name will always be associated with these successes. I wish him all the best for the road ahead."

Clearly, Salihamidzic is looking forward to working with Nagelsmann, having been impressed by the discussions with the coach that have led to this point.

In 90 games with Leipzig, Nagelsmann has earned 53 wins and 21 draws and suffered 16 defeats - achieving a healthy win percentage of 58.9 per cent.

"The talks with Julian have been very cooperative and constructive," Salihamidzic said. "We are going to have a lot of joy with him – of that I am sure."

Hansi Flick has held talks with Oliver Kahn since Bayern Munich's exit from the Champions League but insists his own future at the club was not discussed.

Future club CEO Kahn, who will take over from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the end of the year, is the incoming power-broker who will want clarity about head coach Flick's intentions.

The 56-year-old Flick, who delivered a treble last season, has been linked with becoming the next Germany head coach. 

Rumours over Flick's apparent interest in replacing Joachim Low in that job after the Euro 2020 finals seem to have substance, given he has had ample opportunity to deny the rumours.

Suggestions of a strained relationship with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have also fuelled speculation Flick could leave Bayern at the end of this campaign.

Speaking after Bayern's Champions League title defence came to an end against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, Flick said he had not spoken to Kahn and did not know what the former goalkeeper would want to talk to him about.

However Flick told a news conference on Friday: "I talked to Oliver Kahn briefly, but about other things. It's not as if there's any pressure on me or us. We talked very briefly. We talked about this week and how important this week is.

"We also talked about how we digested the Champions League exit. That's what we talked about - nothing else, not the future."

Bundesliga leaders Bayern face Wolfsburg on Saturday and then Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, with both opponents sitting in the top six and chasing objectives of their own. They then tackle Mainz on the following Saturday.

Flick said: "Everybody in this club knows how important this week is. I heard we could get a fifth star on the shirt if we win the championship. That would be fantastic."

Former Germany assistant boss Flick nevertheless admits he is having restless nights.

"The Champions League exit is still present - this doesn't go away that quickly," he said.

"I'm not sleeping great at the moment. I think you can probably tell. The truth is that life continues. We have a big challenge ahead, three important games ahead for our season goals."

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